The 5 Worst England Performances At World Cups Ever
England are not known as a great World Cup team, in fact they are not even known as a good World Cup team. However, sometimes they out-do themselves in how badly they do on the global stage.
Here are the five worst performances at a World Cup from an England squad.
5. World Cup 1962 – Chile
This might be a little harsh on the England team of 1962 as they were in quite alien surroundings and met some fearsome competition, but to exit a World Cup having won just one game is still a very disappointing showing.
Safe to say that few if any of that squad had ever seen the pitches of Chile before and they were handed a tricky group alongside Hungary, Argentina and Bulgaria. It was a tough task, but this squad was the basis of the one that went on to win the tournament in ’66. So the likes of Bobby Charlton, Johnny Haynes, Jimmy Greaves and Roger Hunt could have achieved plenty, even against good opposition.
It was possibly their first performance that cost them, a 2-1 defeat to Hungary. The Hungarians were still a force, but not the side they were in the ‘50s and England should not have lost to them. Defeating Argentina and then a goalless draw with Bulgaria saw them into the last eight having finished second in their group. If they had topped it they would have met Czechoslovakia, as it was, they faced Brazil.
The Brazilians won that tournament at a canter and they didn’t have too much trouble beating England 3-1 in Vina del Mar thanks to a brace from Garrincha and one from Vava, putting England on the plane home.
4. World Cup 2010 – South Africa
An almost entirely joyless World Cup for England which saw them scrape out of their group but then get embarrassed by their old foes in the first knockout stage.
It seemed to start so well when Steven Gerrard opened the scoring in the first match against USA after just four minutes. However, goalkeeper Rob Green had other ideas, gifting the Americans a goal and a 1-1 draw.
Then followed a pitifully bad goalless draw with Algeria and an entirely unconvincing 1-0 win over Slovenia to put the Three Lions into the last 16 in second place in Group C. Thanks to finishing behind the Americans they were handed a very tricky tie next up. It does not get much trickier than the Germans.
There was the controversy of Frank Lampard’s wrongfully disallowed goal, and Matthew Upson’s header had briefly given fans hope, but in truth England were battered by Germany. It finished 4-1 and there were no complaints with the result as they again exited having won just once.
3. World Cup 1950 – Brazil
Due to England thinking they were better than the rest of the planet, they hadn’t bothered entering the first three World Cups, meaning their arrival in Brazil in 1950 was their debut in the competition. Despite this they were heavily fancied to do well and went in as one of the favourites.
They started as such, beating Chile 2-0 in the opening game thanks to Stan Mortensen and Wilf Mannion. That, however, was the last thing they had to celebrate.
In the next game they took on USA, a team comprised of part-timers who had only trained together once before the tournament. Their own coach, Bill Jeffrey, declared they had ‘no chance’ before the game, and yet, they did. In fact, the Americans won 1-0 in one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.
Despite restoring Stanley Matthews to the team for the final group game against Spain, England lost 1-0 and were on their way home with their tails between their legs.
It is believed part of the reason for not competing in 1930-38 was to avoid the embarrassment of losing on the global stage. Well, they now knew exactly what that felt like.
2. World Cup 1958 – Sweden
This was the first World Cup in which England failed to win a single game, and for 56 years it remained the only one in which that embarrassment took place.
England had not showered themselves in glory in 1950 or 1954, they also had an inexperienced squad, with only four of the 22 players with total caps in double figures. However, three of those men were Billy Wright, Johnny Haynes and Tom Finney, so they did have quality in their ranks.
They didn’t show a great deal of it, though, as they drew all three of their group stage games and then lost a play-off with the Soviet Union which was for a place in the quarter-final. Not only did they not win a game, but at no point in the tournament were they even ahead in a match, something that, again, wouldn’t happen for another 56 years.
It wasn’t an easy group alongside Brazil, the Soviets and Austria, but they had the momentum going into the play-off. They had pinched a draw against Austria, whilst the Soviet Union had just been beaten by Brazil, who England had held to a goalless draw. But it wasn’t to be, losing 1-0 and heading back to Blighty.
1. World Cup 2014 – Brazil
It is back to Brazil for England’s worst ever performance in a World Cup, which just so happens to be their last trip to the biggest tournament on the planet.
England’s squad was not especially good and their manager was not one who inspired confidence. Add these ingredients into a very tough group which included Italy and Uruguay and you have a recipe for disaster.
Just like 1958, England were never ahead in this tournament. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy and then by Uruguay by the same scoreline, putting them out of the competition before the final game of the group.
Remarkably, the other team in the group, the huge underdogs, Costa Rica, had beaten Uruguay and Italy in their first two matches meaning there was nothing on their clash with England. The teams played out one of the most forgettable games in World Cup history – a 0-0 kick-around and that was it for the English.
They finished bottom of their group with one point and just two goals to their name. Never before had they scored fewer goals or amassed fewer points, and hopefully that shambles will never happen again.
Up to £100 in Bet Credits for New Customers at bet365 Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. 18+, Time limits and T&Cs apply.
New UK and IRE customers only. Min bet £/€10 or £/€10 e/w on 12:10 Cheltenham 14.12.18 . Free Bets paid within 1 hr of race settling to be used on remaining Cheltenham races 14.12.18. T&Cs apply 18+ BeGambleAware.org
18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Min deposit £5. Paypal & some deposit types excl. Winning bets paid in cash at normal price. Enhanced odds paid in £5 free bets within 24 hours, valid for 4 days, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
New customers only. £10 min dep using promo code "888ODDS" req. Qual bet must be placed at normal odds Min/max bet £5, m Extra winnings paid in FREE BETS within 72 hrs of qual bet settlement and expire 7 days after credit. T&Cs apply
18+. New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain dep types and bet types excl. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
- 9 Potential Winners of the World Cup 2018 Golden Glove Award
- Top 10 World Cup Humiliations
- Top 10 Mourinho Master Classes
- Top Eight Premier League Title Races
- Top 10 Uncapped Players that could make the England World Cup squad
- Top 10 England Goalkeepers
- Top 10 Transfer Deadline Day Flops
- Top 10 Football Rivalries
- Top 10 Retired Cricketers Who Would Have Been T20 Kings
- Top 10 footballers to play in North America
- 7 Unique things we LOVE about the Ryder Cup
- Top 10 Team GB Winter Olympic Gold Medal Winners
- Top 8 Valentines Day Sports Stars
- Top 10 Cracking Cricketers with Dodgy Debuts
- Top 10 Sporting Nicknames
- Top 10 Chinese Sports Stars
- Top 10 Sporting Whitewashes
- Top 10 Desperate Aussie Pre-Ashes Mind Games
- Top 10 Boxers Avenging Defeats
- Top 10 Multi-Sport Sportsmen
- Top 10 Sporting Veterans
- Top 10 Royal Sporting Names
- Top 10 Sporting Debuts
- Top 10 Sporting Upsets
- Top 10 Thrashings in Sporting Finals
- Top 10 UK Open Shock Results
- Top 10 Fights in London
- Top Six Play-Off Heartaches
- Top 10 Moments that ended a sporting era
- Top 10 sportsmen who should retire
- Top 10 Footballers Luis Suarez can feast on next
- Top Eight Grand National Long Shots
- Top Five Six Nations Climaxes
- Top Five British Europa League Heartbreaks
- Top 10 England Opening Batsmen
- Top Five Champions League Comebacks
- Top 10 England stars of the future
- 13 Greatest World Cup Players Of All Time
- Top Eight All-Rounders in world cricket
- Top Five Premier League Summer Signings
- Top Eight Premier League Veterans
- Top 10 Football Player Comebacks
- Top 10 England one-cap wonders
- Top Five Welsh Snooker Players
- Top 10 World Number Ones
- Top 10 Foreign England Cricketers
- Top 10 Worst Managerial Appointments
- Top 10 Goal Celebrations
- Top Seven Euro 2016 Kits
- Top Nine Football Stadiums in Europe
- Top Five European Championship Goals
- Top Five Iconic UK Sporting Venues
- Top Five Most Controversial Boxers of All Time
- 6 Typical Cheltenham Festival Goers
- Top 10 British Boxing Grudge Matches
- 10 of the Best Managerial Sackings
- Top 10 Unlikely Masters Champions
- Top 10 Greatest Manchester Derbies
- Top 10 Relegation Escapes
- Top England ODI XI of All-Time
- Top 10 Greatest FA Cup Finals of All-Time
- 4 World Cup 2018 group stage shock exits to look out for
- Top 10 Clay Court Tennis Players of the Open Era
- Top 10 Champions League Finals
- The 9 Greatest England v Scotland Matches
- 11 Greatest victories for English teams in the Champions League
- Top 10 Players Missing the World Cup
- The 8 Greatest Lions Victories
- The 14 Worst Transfers in Premier League History
- Top 10 Premier League Bargains
- Top 7 Premier League One Season Wonders
- 11 Best Premier League Opening Day Matches
- 7 Best Premier League Debut Campaigns
- Top 10 Upsets in Boxing and UFC history
- Top 7 Football Shirts of All-Time
- 10 Greatest American Tennis Players of the Open Era
- The 11 Greatest World Cup Matches Ever
- Top 10 Greatest T20 players in history
- Top 10 Darts Players of all Time
- 14 Greatest Champions League Players Ever
- 9 Greatest Liverpool vs Manchester United games of the Premier League era
- The 10 Greatest World Cup Goals Ever
- 10 uncapped players that could make the England World Cup squad
- The 12 Greatest South Americans in Premier League history
- Top 10 Players who could win the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot
- Top Five FA Cup Final Upsets
- 10 English wins over Spanish teams in the Champions League
- The 15 Greatest British Heavyweight Boxers in History
- 10 worst England players ever to make a World Cup squad
- Top Seven Australian Open Outsiders
- Top 10 Individual Ashes Performances
- 10 Worst January transfer window signings in Premier League history
- 9 Best January transfer window signings in Premier League history
- 14 UFC fights we want to see in 2018
- Top 10 British boxers that could become world champions in 2018
- Top 10 Boxing Rematches Ending in the Same Result
- Top Five Formula One Drivers Of All Time
- Top 10 Craziest Premier League Players
- Top 10 Gaps not filled in the Transfer Window
- Top 10 Cricket All-Rounders
- Top 10 Worst Current World Champions
- Top 10 Players to watch at the ICC Champions Trophy
- Top 10 Potential Future World Snooker Champions
- Top 10 Opponents Tyson Fury Can Face
- Top Five Heavyweight Contenders
- Top 11 Undefeated Streaks in Boxing History
- The 5 worst England performances at World Cups ever
- Top 5 Current Pound for Pound Boxers
- The 5 Best England performances at World Cups
- 11 World Cup 2018 Fantasy Football Bargains
- The 10 Biggest Shock Group Stage Exits in World Cup History
- The 10 Biggest Premier League Opening Day Upsets Ever
- The 10 best transfer deadline day signings in Premier League history
- 2018 World Cup: Top 10 Young Players to Watch
If you fancy a break from the serious side of betting, take a look at our Topical Feature List for a bit of a giggle.Click Here To View The List »
View our latest sports articles in our betting blogRead Our Blog »